It is quite common for women to store fat in their inner thighs. Exercise can strengthen the muscles of the inner thigh, but cannot eliminate sagging skin. Genetics, hormonal changes such as pregnancy and menopause, as well as poor diet and exercise habits can compound the situation. For isolated areas of fat, liposuction may provide the remedy. If, however, excess skin is the issue, a thigh lift procedure performed by our plastic surgeon, Mark Pinsky, MD, can tighten the area from the groin to the knees creating a more toned, smooth appearance. This is often the case after massive weight loss. If your weight is relatively stable and you are struggling with excess soft tissue along the inner thigh, you may be a good candidate for a thigh lift. Thigh lifts may be part of a comprehensive surgical rejuvenation plan may include a lower body lift or a buttock lift.
Why a Thigh Lift?
- Fight the signs of aging: The skin of the inner thigh is particularly thin and has poor elasticity. As we age, the medial thigh area begins to sag. A thigh lift can tighten the underlying structures and remove excess skin for a more youthful contour.
- Weight Loss: Skin doesn’t necessarily shrink along with the numbers on the scale. Removing excess skin completes the hard fought battle of dieting or bariatric surgery.
- Having Liposuction: Occasionally, a thigh lift may be advised post liposuction if sagging skin is present after the body has been given adequate time to demonstrate its capacity to rebound.
- Firmer, more proportionate appearance: A thigh lift reshapes the thighs by reducing excess skin and fat resulting in smoother skin and less visible pockets of cellulite.
Why Dr. Pinsky?
- State of the art technique: Staying abreast of the latest the specialty offers is the only way to provide exceptional results–consistently. Dr. Pinsky is dedicated to refining their mutual approaches through investing in the latest technology and surgical education.
- Honest consultations: You will never be advised to agree to a surgical plan that will deliver less than your desired goal. Conversely, no procedure will be recommended that is premature or unnecessary.
- Experience you can trust: Dr. Pinsky has decades of experience behind him and a reputation that is built upon successful outcomes.
Preparing for Your Thigh Lift
Your initial consultation is very important. It is vital to talk about your expectations, and what the best approach is for you. You should be comfortable and able to speak honestly and openly with us about your desired outcome and goals. You will need to provide your medical history and also tell us about any vitamins and/or medications, including over-the-counter, you are taking. If you smoke, have uncontrolled high blood pressure, allergies, blood clotting problems, or a tendency to form excessive scars please tell us. These issues can affect both the safety and results of your surgery. It is our goal to help you achieve the best results possible.
At the time of your consultation, Dr. Pinsky will examine your medial thigh area. Your skin tone and the degree of loose skin will be assessed. You will also be able to discuss whether a thigh lift can be combined with any other procedures in which you are interested.
Do not take products containing ibuprofen (such as Aspirin) for at least two weeks before and after your procedure. These medications thin the blood, and interfere with your body’s normal blood clotting, increasing the risk of bruising and bleeding. Rather, use medications that contain acetaminophen (such as Tylenol.) We strongly suggest that you stop smoking at least six weeks before your thigh lift. Smoking constricts the small blood vessels in your skin, slows the healing process, and increases the risk of getting open wounds on your legs. Surgery may be delayed in patients that continue to smoke. You should also abstain from alcohol for at least two weeks before and after surgery. Lowering your salt intake will help reduce swelling after surgery and staying hydrated will help flush toxins from your body both before and after your surgery. You should discuss any vitamins or herbs you are taking with Dr. Pinsky, as they may affect clotting and healing as well.
Our office will give you needed prescriptions to fill prior to your surgery date and complete instructions for the day of surgery. We will review the use of anesthesia as well as your post operative care and necessary follow up. It is our goal to avoid surprises. You will need to arrange for an adult to drive you to and from your surgery and have someone with you for the first 24 hours at home.
How it is Done
A thigh lift procedure is done under general anesthesia either at the outpatient surgery center, or possibly at the hospital (if combined with other procedures.) Thigh lifts average between 2 and 3 hours depending on the degree of lift needed and if there are other procedures being performed.
Prior to a thigh lift procedure the pubic area is shaved to guard against infection. Dr. Pinsky will generally make measurements while you are standing and again while lying down.
Once areas that need to be treated are detailed, incisions are made generally in the groin area and inner leg, to hide the scarring. Once the incisions are made, Dr. Pinsky will lift and trim away the extra skin and readjust the remaining skin on your thigh to give you a lean, smoother appearance.
The techniques we use usually allow incisions to be placed in strategic locations where scarring is least noticeable. However depending upon the degree of excess skin removed, incisions may be lengthy.
After Your Thigh Lift
Mild pain and discomfort are common post-surgery, but can be managed with medication. If you experience a sharp pain that is not alleviated by medication, you should contact us immediately.
Sutures may be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery although most sutures are the dissolving type and do not require removal. Bandages are removed after one to four days, and drains will be removed in 10 to 14 days.
Recovery time for a thigh lift surgery is generally two to three weeks. While individual recovery experiences may vary, strict bed rest is recommended for the first 10 days. The thighs are more active in our daily lives than you might expect and any premature movement post-surgery can impede the healing process. Resisting the urge to get up and move around will help speed your recovery.
Some swelling and bruising are common, yet a smoother, tighter contour will be apparent immediately after surgery. There will be a noticeable improvement in skin quality. A compression garment may help minimize swelling and support healing tissues for the first few weeks following your thigh lift.
Scars may seem pink at first. Healthy patients and non smokers should expect the scars to begin to flatten and lighten in color, reaching their final appearance in 9-12 months.
When considering a thigh lift, first start by educating yourself about the benefits and the risks associated with such the procedure. By getting informed in advance you’ll be better equipped for your consultations and you’ll be able to set reasonable expectations for the procedure’s results.